Latin America 2011: Day 3: Antigua to Flores
8 or 9 hours in the van, with a stop at the Mayan ruin of Copan? Right. Try 12 hours (including a flat tire). Ouch. Plus the descent from the highlands around Antigua and Guatemala city into the lowlands around Copan and the rest of the trip meant it got hot and humid, with lots of bugs...
An early start including breakfast and hot chocolate (Guatemalan chocolate is excellent) at Fernando's Cafe, then on the road to Flores!
A fairly tasty lunch at what looked like a roadside truck stop (err, restaurant), then an hour or so at the ruins of Copan, where some of us had our first exposure to Mayan ruins and Guatemalan jungle on the trip. It's a reasonably compact site among a sea of banana plantations, but the recent rains made the hike to the southern end of the site impossible in the short time we had. As a first taste of Mayan architecture and construction, though, it gave a good sense of scale, and of the voracious nature of the jungle.
Then back in the van, a quick stop at Lake Izabal for pictures (lame, but a welcome break), the fruit checkpoint a few hours later (the army needs to guard the fruit inspectors? Holy cow...), and finally into Flores. Checked in to our tiny hotel, then had dinner at Hospedaje (Hostel) Yaxha before passing out after one long day.